Non-runners seem to think we’re all panting and blowing too much to talk, but get a group of runners together and you won’t shut them up. Running is most definitely a social sport.
Favourite shoes, models and makes, tastiest gels, the benefits of heart rate training, top race technique…are just a few of the many topics up for discussion. And ultra runners, we’ll we’re the worst of the bunch. Chewing the fat is easily accommodated over the ultra distances because we often have to slow the speed, walk the talk, and bunch up when the trail is challenging.
Indeed, long runs should be completed at an easy ‘chatting’ pace, and so when a Facebook friend messaged me from Dubai to say he’d be in town for a few days and was looking for willing victims to run 30km with, we weren’t going to miss the opportunity for some ad hoc conversation.
Despite being warned that Doha is somewhat hotter and more humid than Dubai, Omar was up for the challenge. He’d not visited for a couple of years and was a little taken aback by the changes underway. He’d already noticed that construction work isn’t always pedestrian friendly, with a distinct lack of pavements. This means road running and dodging traffic, even at 4am.
Not having met Omar in person, I think he was probably a little unsure what to expect as Wendy and I pulled up. Introductions over and we were off.
Skirting the Corniche, the talk got underway and we realised that we’d missed the turn off we were supposed to have taken. Too much nattering! Doh!
I also pointed out that it’s best to keep us ladies off controversial subjects since we pick up pace while putting the world to rights.
Trotting on, we were able to show Omar some of the sights of the city he’d never seen before
By now it was just hitting dawn, when the infamous Doha humidity peaks. Thankfully the temperature was cooler than in past weeks as we cut through a roadwork-avoiding-estate to our planned petrol-station water top up.
Heading on out, we hit our in-town trail on the side of roads towards Duhail. The construction dust, traffic and sun were making it hot at this point and so we decided to take it easy back from the next petrol station stop.
We’d certainly covered a full range of topics in our discussions. Suitably deafened by our chat, we bade farewell to our visitor – no doubt to catch up at a race in the near future
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/2594690838/”>Ed Yourdon</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>